Turkish diplomats face suspension over coup probe

Top Turkish diplomat vows to clean Foreign Ministry of Gulenist diplomats.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday warned ambassadors could be suspended from their duties as part of a nationwide probe into July 15 coup attempt.

Speaking during a live TV program on Monday, Cavusoglu said members of the FETO terror group [Fetullah Terrorist Organization] also infiltrated the foreign ministry throughout the years with fraud in entrance exams.

“Some personnel in the ministry had been given answered questions. […] And some personnel [who had been employed by fraud exams] were placed in key positions in the ministry,” he said.

According to Cavusoglu, the ambassadors who will be suspended are no longer on duty abroad but based at the foreign ministry in Ankara.

“They have not been assigned for any foreign mission so far. We have recalled them. But low-level civil servants who are on an international duty right now will be suspended,” he said.

Cavusoglu said cheating on entrance exams for employment in public institutions is illegal and a crime.

“They will suffer the consequences. There are people who spent one or one and a half years who worked hard to be part of the ministry, but FETO suspects took a position without any effort,” he added.

Last week’s deadly coup attempt occurred when rogue elements in the Turkish military tried to overthrow the country’s democratically-elected government.

Turkey’s government has repeatedly said the deadly plot, which martyred at least 246 people and injured more than 2,100 others, was organized by followers of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen.

Gulen is also accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the “parallel state”.